According to Forbes, over one million home invasions occur in the United States every year, equating to around 2,739 burglaries committed every day.
Thieves tend to target homes with lax security systems, with many burglars entering through poorly protected windows and doors.
As Americans are becoming more and more security conscious by the day, there has been a rise in the popularity of security window screens, which can be installed in addition to your property’s windows to offer an additional layer of protection against the threat of home invasion.
But what exactly are security window screens? Why should you install them at your home? And how much do home security window screens cost on average?
We answer all of these questions and more in this article, but we begin by introducing you to the different types of window screens widely available to homeowners in the United States.
Different Types of Window Screens and Their Average Costs
Window screens come in a range of materials and are installed for a variety of reasons. For example, some homeowners opt for a simple screen to keep out mosquitos during the breeding season, while others elect to install stainless steel security windows to keep out thieves and offer protection from the elements.
Below are the different types of window screens available, as well as an indication of how much you can expect to pay for installation per square ft:
As you can see, you have a wide selection of materials to choose from when it comes to ordering window screens, but security screens are without doubt the most robust option. Let’s take a look at security window screens in greater detail.
What is a Security Window Screen?
A security window screen is a protective layer that can be installed on your windows to offer additional protection against thieves, extreme weather, and insects. The grid-like openings of the screens are big enough to let natural light filter into your property but small enough to protect your home from outside objects and the elements.
Usually made with stainless steel or other strong and durable materials, security window screens offer a much greater level of protection than mesh insect screens and are a great option for people looking to bolster the safety and security of their homes.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should install security window screens at your property, so you can decide if they’re a good option for you.
Why Should I Install a Security Window Screen?
There are so many advantages to installing security window screens at your property. Below are the key benefits to adding this additional layer of security to your property:
Essentially, security window screens offer all the benefits associated with less robust mesh screens but significantly enhance the security of your home at the same time. Let’s now look at the different types of window screens you can install at your residential property.
Different Types of Security Window Screens
Typically, security window screens are made from 304 or 316-gauge stainless steel mesh wire, which renders them pretty much impenetrable. Adding a security screen to your window prevents anyone from getting in without your say so and are the best way to bolster the security of your home.
There is a wide variety of security window screens on the market from a range of highly respected manufacturers. Trusted brands will conduct impact, pull, fire, and knife shear tests on their screens, to guarantee they’re up to the standard required.
One of the leading companies in the industry is Crimsafe. Utilizing specially developed mesh comprised of structural grade stainless steel, Crimsafe’s mesh is 26.5% thicker than that used by many of its competitors.
The different types of security screen that Crimsafe install, include:
Fixed Window Screens
Fixed security screens are non-moving panels that can be installed on windows where egress isn’t an issue. They’re commonly chosen by homeowners to secure louvers or sash windows and can be easily fitted in the fly screen track of the window.
Hinged Window Screens
Perfect for single or multi-paneled sliding windows, hinged security window screens can be swung inward or outward and hung from the top or sides. Homeowners might opt for hinged window screens on casement windows and double-hung windows.
Emergency Exit Security Window Screens
Crimsafe’s Safe-S-Capes are perfect for egress, sliding, hinged, or sash windows and allow people to get in and out safely and quickly in case of emergency. They constitute a one-touch release system that ensures fast escape without compromising on the exceptional level of security the company is known for.
Regardless of which type of security window screen you opt for, all of Crimsafe’s products incorporate the following features:
Crimsafe is widely respected as one of the leading international brands when it comes to installing security window screens, thanks mainly to their patented, extra-strong stainless steel and various screen types available. But are there any other companies worthy of your consideration?
Other Security Window Screen Companies in US
At the national level, you may also want to consider security window screens manufactured and installed by Campbell and Boss. Like Crimsafe, each company has developed an impressive reputation and install different types of custom-sized security screens at residential properties.
Whether you opt to work with a national or local company for the installation of security window screens, below is an indication of how much you can expect to pay.
Security Window Screen Installation Cost
Perhaps the most significant drawback of window security screens is the cost of their installation. Given their security-enhancing features, they’re significantly more expensive to install than any other type of window screen, costing anywhere between $10 - $25 per square ft.
Ultimately, you can expect to pay up to $1,000 per window for security screens, depending on the brand you choose to install. You will also need to factor in the cost of professional installation, as security window screens aren’t easy to install by yourself. Therefore, you should add anywhere between $15 and $50 per screen for labor.
Given that security window screens might be seen as prohibitively expensive by some, we introduce some alternatives below that you may want to consider if you’re looking to bolster your home’s safety and security.
Alternatives to Security Window Screens
As explained at the start of this article, you can install window screens made from much cheaper materials, including fiberglass, aluminum, and copper. The only problem is that these screens don’t really offer any enhancements to the overall security of your home.
As an alternative to security screens, you might want to consider the following:
Burglar bars have long been the most accepted device for bolstering the security of windows. Like window screens, burglar bars are available in a range of materials and styles, including:
Average Cost Per Window
Aluminium and Steel
$90 - $500
$100 - $1000
$150 - $700
$100 - $1000
In the main, burglar bars tend to be cheaper than security window screens and offer a comparable level of security against the threat of home invasion. (Related: How To Burglar Proof Your Windows: A Practical Guide)
However, they’re not as aesthetically pleasing, don’t keep out insects, and don’t offer the same level of protection to your windows against inclement weather. As such, if your budget allows, you may want to stretch a little and go for window security screens, thanks to the additional enhancements mentioned.
Window Safety Film
Safety film is a colorless attachment that can be added to your windows to bolster their overall security. Although it’s not as robust as a security screen, safety film makes your windows much more difficult to smash and is much better than leaving them unprotected.
Window safety film is less than half the price of security window screens, and you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of $5 per square ft per window for its installation.
Window Security Shutters
Although you don’t see security shutters installed at a great deal of residential properties, they are a viable option for those living in areas with a particularly high crime rate. You can opt for either manual or automatic shutters, and they offer an exceptional safety and security boost to your home.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of shutter installation in the US is between $20 - $45 per square ft, which is essentially double the price of security screens. You can expect to pay between $2000 - $3000 per shutter, which is a considerable expense when you factor in labor for their installation.
The Verdict: Are Security Window Screens Worth It?
If you’re looking to bolster your home’s security and protect your family from the threat of home invasion, then installing security window screens is a great option. As well as the enhanced security they provide, they look great, offer protection from the elements, and prevent insects from entering your home.
Although they’re slightly more expensive than installing burglar bars on your windows, many homeowners prefer screens as they’re much more homely and don’t evoke thoughts of the prison system when you’re relaxing inside your home!
But given that you can expect to pay around $1,000 per window for a robust security window screen, you need to weigh up the advantages of doing so, and consider some of the alternatives if this is a little outside of your budget.